Personal Progress - STANDARDISATION
Measuring pupils’ progress in art requires you to have a clear understanding of what good progress looks like in the subject. Unfortunately, there are no national standards for art and design so there are no national guidelines to refer to, as you do in core subjects.
The only solution to this problem is to create your own internal standards for the subject. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Art teachers have always standardised their pupils’ work. Before computers, we would take samples of work from a whole class set; two top, two middle, two bottom, staple the details about the project to them, and put them in a drawer to refer to later. In this way, we could use them to measure the standards of outcomes later down the line, year after year.
These days, you can do this with a tablet very easily, then add them to folders on your schools’ shared drive. Now you might keep it simple and just have one folder per year group and put samples of drawing and painting in each one, naming them with exceeding, meeting and working towards file names. Even if you only do this, you will be creating a meaningful framework for measuring progression in your school.
Every class teacher will be able to see the standards of work in their year group and across the school. Subject leads will be able to look at a holistic picture of subject development and use it to make managerial decisions about the subject, analysing where the strengths and weaknesses of the subject are.
Taking this one step further, however, we could relate this to our Pyramid Progression framework and have samples of Skills, Knowledge, and Creativity.
My standardisation model is available here as a download. I’ve also linked it to the Early Years Framework learning goals. In my model, I’ve made standards for the areas of development linked to my Pyramid Progression:
Skills: Accuracy and Precision
Skills: Technical Proficiency (craft skills of making with the hand)
Knowledge of art and artists’ work
Notice I haven’t stated particular art media such as drawing, painting, etc. This is because skills develop in particular ways, regardless of the materials we are using. Accuracy and precision with a pencil is not much different from accuracy and precision with a paintbrush. But expression with a pencil is a different standard to measure than precision with a pencil - they are very different beasts!
Craft skills with the hand contain a huge swathe of skills such as twisting, bending, forming and shaping, etc. I have grouped these into Technical Proficiency for ease of reference. I wouldn’t expect teachers to identify every aspect of them, just to be aware of this standard as a whole.
I’ve also included my Knowledge and Creativity targets too, but again, I wouldn’t expect each facet of these to be featured in the standards model; keep it as simple as you can. I hope you can also see that I’ve created a simple overview of these standards; in visual and text form. What this should provide every teacher with is a strong frame of reference, a really helpful guide to teaching art that will show them what they should teach and to what standard.
Full permission to use these images was gained from the creators. Credit to the author is given below the images.
As an NSEAD registered art consultant, I offer a friendly, professional art consultancy service to schools, from early years right through to Secondary GCSE. I've worked with infant schools to improve art assessment, delivered primary school CPD on skills and progression, worked with Subject Leaders to raise attainment and done whole school, secondary art department audits including formal lesson observations and department reviews. My over-arching strategy is to support the professional development of hard working professionals with positive and constructive advice for improvement.
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